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Garcia caps off a Sunday of improbable comebacks

By Matt Youmans  (VSiN senior editor) 

April 9, 2017 08:44 PM
Sergio Garcia was 0-for-73 in golf majors in his heartbreaking career until he wiped away the depression with a stunning comeback to win the Masters. Garcia paid off at 30-1 odds.
© USA Today Sports Images

If it seems the sports world has turned upside down, that is the case. And Sergio Garcia was only part of Sunday’s incredible win-probability story.

Garcia was 0-for-73 in golf majors in his heartbreaking career until he wiped away the depression with a stunning comeback to win the Masters in a playoff.

VSiN host Gill Alexander tweeted, “So happy for Sergio.”

Those who bet on Justin Rose — this writer included — were unhappy, to say the least.

If anyone out there bet on Rose, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Seattle Mariners on Sunday, it’s probably a good idea to take a gambling break. (More on the NBA and MLB in a minute.)

Rose had an opportunity to open a four-stroke lead over Garcia on the 13th hole. In fact, Garcia was a plus-900 underdog in live wagering after hitting into a bush and taking a penalty stroke. The hard-luck Spaniard was on the brink of a meltdown. Instead, Rose missed a short putt, Garcia holed a longer putt, and everything changed.

With a second life, Garcia birdied the 14th and eagled the par-5 15th — his first eagle in 452 holes at Augusta National. Even after missing a 5-foot putt to win in regulation on the 18th, Garcia fought back to beat Rose on the same hole in sudden death.

Rose once looked like a winner at 25-1 odds, but Garcia tickets cashed at 30-1 … for the first time ever in a major. 

The flip side to each bad beat is the miracle win on the other side.

Garcia's major accomplishment at Augusta was not as unlikely as what happened early in the day at Atlanta.

The Cavaliers, 5-point favorites and minus-210 on the moneyline, led the Hawks by 26 points in the fourth quarter. According to ESPN researchers, NBA teams leading by 26 or more points entering the fourth quarter owned an 840-0 record since 2002.

Now, change that to 840-1.

The Hawks outscored the Cavaliers 44-18 in the fourth, forcing overtime on Paul Millsap’s jumper at the buzzer. Atlanta, which took its first lead of the game on Millsap’s 3-pointer with 1:12 left in overtime, pulled out a miraculous 126-125 win.

The scene of another crime: Anaheim, California. The Mariners, plus-115 underdogs, took a 9-3 lead to the bottom of the ninth inning.

Albert Pujols led off with a home run. Eight batters later, Pujols hit a tying two-run single, and Los Angeles used a seven-run ninth to win 10-9.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, MLB teams had lost 346 straight games when trailing by six or more runs entering the ninth inning.

It was an improbable Sunday, to say the least.

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